Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Why are we expected to do everything for free?

For many of us in education, whether you are K12 or Higher Education, our chosen career path is often described as a “calling”. To me personally, that means that we love what we do, and that is great, but it does not mean we want to do it all for free (studies show that “70% job satisfaction” is considered very good, and I have yet to hear of the ‘perfect job’).

It was a recent article I just read got me thinking about today’s topic not so much because the editor in question was rude to the scholar (people are often rude to educators), but because the editor seemed outraged that the scholar wanted to get paid for doing some work.
“An employee known only as Ofek recruited Danielle Lee, a postdoctoral fellow at Oklahoma State University, and author of a blog called "The Urban Scientist" to write for Biology-Online. When she turned him down, after being told that Biology-Online did not intend to pay her, Ofek responded: "Because we don't pay for blog entries? Are you an urban scientist or an urban whore?"”
Why is it educators are portrayed as mercenaries when they request compensation for doing extra work?
We serve on committees, volunteer in after-school programs, present papers at conferences, blog about important events daily, and our advice is often solicited; almost all for free. Can you imagine this happening in other professions?
I love writing my blog, I love doing extra presentations that benefit the students I teach, and I am sure many educators feel similarly. However, it is ok to ask for compensation for your work from time to time because that is the norm in most other professions, and there are only so many hours in the day.
Sometimes, you need to get paid for your work
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

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